In this Book

The Romance of Adultery
summary

Peggy McCracken offers a feminist historicist reading of Guenevere, Iseut, and other adulterous queens of Old French literature, and situates romance narratives about queens and their lovers within the broader cultural debate about the institution of queenship in twelfth- and thirteenth-century France.

Moving among a wide selection of narratives that recount the stories of queens and their lovers, McCracken explores the ways adultery is appropriated into the political structure of romance. McCracken examines the symbolic meanings and uses of the queen's body in both romance and the historical institutions of monarchy and points toward the ways medieval romance contributed to the evolving definition of royal sovereignty as exclusively male.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. pp. 1-3
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  1. Title
  2. pp. 4-4
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  1. Copyright
  2. pp. 5-7
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. 8-9
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. List of Abbreviations
  2. pp. xi-xiii
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  1. Introduction: Defining Queenship in Medieval Europe
  2. pp. 1-24
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  1. Chapter 1. Royal Succession and the Queen's Two Bodies
  2. pp. 25-51
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  1. Chapter 2. Royal Sovereignty and the Test of the Queen's Body
  2. pp. 52-83
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  1. Chapter 3. Rumors, Rivalries, and the Queen's Secret Adultery
  2. pp. 84-118
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  1. Chapter 4. Adultery, Illegitimacy, and Royal Maternity
  2. pp. 119-143
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  1. Chapter 5. Seduction, Maternity, and Royal Authority
  2. pp. 144-170
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  1. Conclusion: Gendering Sovereignty in Medieval France
  2. pp. 171-177
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 179-203
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 205-218
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 219-224
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